Axe horror of Leeds double killing

Sarah Laycock. Below, Abigail.
Sarah Laycock. Below, Abigail.
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A mother suffered multiple axe and stab wounds in a frenzied attack in which her daughter was also stabbed to death.

Deputy headteacher Sarah Laycock, 31, and eight-year-old Abigail Miller were killed at their home in Garforth last month.

John Miller, 36, – Miss Laycock’s partner and Abigail’s father – was arrested hours later on suspicion of their murder.

Inquests into their deaths opened at Leeds Coroner’s Court on Friday. (February 24)

Det Chief Insp Lisa Griffin, of West Yorkshire Police’s homicide and major enquiry team, said: “Ms Laycock’s cause of death was massive cranial and facial trauma as a result of multiple axe and stab wounds.”

He said Abigail had died from a stab wound to the neck and had also suffered “blunt force head injuries”.

Plasterer Mr Miller was arrested on suspicion of murder after the bodies of Abigail and Ms Laycock, who was deputy headteacher at Wheldon Infants, were discovered at Kirkby Avenue on January 14.

He was also suspected of the attempted murder of the couple’s four-year-old daughter Amelia, who had suffered minor injuries.

Mr Miller, who was arrested at Fairburn Ings Nature Reserve near Castleford, was said to have a serious arm injury when he was picked up by police.

He was committed to pyschiatric care in Wakefield days after the incident.

The inquest heard that he remained in care and West Yorkshire Police have confirmed that his detention under the Mental Health Act is a “long-term arrangement”.

Coroner David Hinchliff said Mr Miller’s solicitors had asked for a second post-mortem, which had been carried out.

He issued cremation certificates and interim death certificates so that the bodies could be released for their funerals.

He added: “I will now adjourn this inquest pending the outcome of further police enquiries.

“Regarding the ultimate resumption of this inquest, I await the outcome of the inquiry.

“Depending on whether a person is charged with a homicide offence, I will either adjourn the inquest or, depending on the circumstances, conduct a full inquest.”

Amelia is being cared for by Ms Laycock’s family.

Louis Taylor-Broadfield

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